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Gus & Me by Keith Richards

Today's book review is of Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar by Keith Richards, illustrated by his daughter, Theodora Richards.

If you are thinking any of the following things: "yeesh, another 'celebrity' book" or "it's a vanity project - heck, his daughter even illustrated it", then I insist that you STOP THAT right now. I confess to a bit of an eyeroll on my own part when I heard this book was coming out, if only because it seems so easy for famous folks to get books published while some of us languish in obscurity keep working hard to get noticed. However, I reserved judgment on the text because Keith Richards is a songwriter, man, and songwriters are usually a lot like poets, and can tell stories and turn phrases.

I am happy to report that I am correct about that assessment - poetical, able to tell a story, and capable of turning any number of phrases is pretty much how I'd describe Keith Richards's picture book. And his daughter, Theodora, did a terrific job with the illustrations, which support and enhance the text.

Here's a photograph of the first spread, followed by its text:

Theodore Augustus Dupree
lived with seven daughters near the Seven Sisters Road,
in a house that was filled with instruments and cake.

Isn't that a great opening? I sure think it's nearly perfect. The rest of the story talks about Keith Richards's grandfather, and about the adventures they had together, including a trip to an instrument store/repair shop in London and how Gus encouraged Keith to learn "Malagueña" on the guitar, as the perfect song to learn finger placement and such.

Here's another spread from the book:

Highly recommended for grandparents to share with their kids, for anyone of any age interested in making music (or in Keith Richards). I bought a copy at Barnes & Noble to send to my brother for his birthday so he can read it with his kids (shhh . . . it's a surprise, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog). Oh, and there's a CD, too, which I didn't open because the book's to be a present, but it contains guitar music by Keith Richards (I believe), including a bit of "Malagueña".

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised that it's good. I enjoyed his autobiography. It was full of great stories, and it read like listening to him reminisce.
Oct. 2nd, 2014 01:20 am (UTC)
I'm anxious to see this one! :)
Amanda Burchell
Nov. 8th, 2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this preview & loved Keiths autobiography too.
Theodora's drawings are very good - it's great that she and her dad are doing a project together. A great memento for fans - in addition to Keith's book.

I will look on-line for this book too.


Amanda Burchell - Melbourne, Australia
Nov. 8th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: I really enjoyed this preview & loved Keiths autobiography too.
I hope you find a copy, and thank you for stopping by and leaving me a note!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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